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home : local sports : local sports

2/19/2013 10:55:00 AM Email this articlePrint this article 
Fairfield 64, Lawrenceville 62 (OT)
Mules need overtime to kick Tribe to sidelines
MCLEANSBORO - Lawrenceville High School's basketball team suffered one final disappointing loss Monday evening in the Illinois High School Class 2A regional tournament at Hamilton County High School.

The Indians were poised to move on to semifinal play, but the Mules' Andrew Gifford came through with a 3-pointer at the final horn, sending the game to overtime. Once there, the Mules (17-12) were able to fend off the Indians, 64-62.

"We had the ballgame won," said LHS coach Randy Bishop, whose team finished 5-22 in his first season at the helm. "We told them during the timeout that the only thing that could beat us was a 3-pointer. We gambled that our kids would stop him, but he got too good of a look. It was a big shot. I thought the game was over but it goes to show you that if you don't defend at the end of the game, good players will beat you. That's exactly what happened."

Fairfield's Will Griffith started the scoring in overtime, but the Indians responded with a 3-pointer by Brandt Cochran and two foul shots by Braxton Blagrave to take a 59-56 lead with about three minutes remaining.

The Mules countered with two foul shots from Griffith, then took the lead for good, 60-59, on two foul shots by Griffith with 1:53 to go.

Both teams turned the ball over in the final minute before the Mules' Joseph Rodgers stepped to the line and sank a pair with 42 seconds remaining.

The Indians still had chances, as Austin Wanke misfired from close range and Cochran was off the mark with a 3-pointer as the clock wound down.

Fairfield's Dylan Wells was fouled with 13 seconds to play and hit the first free throw for a 63-59 lead. He missed the second free toss, grabbed the rebound, was fouled again and once again made one of two for a 64-59 advantage.

The Indians' Jacob Potts gave LHS slim hope by sinking a 3-point basket with 1.6 seconds remaining, but the Mules were able to inbound the ball and run out the clock.

"I feel bad for (the players)," said Bishop. "They played hard and got after it really well. They did a lot of good things tonight. But once again I thought we should have won, We had the game, but let them tie it with a wide open 3-pointer."

The Indians had a balanced effort, led by Blagrave's 13 points. Cochran, with 11, and Potts - still recovering from a broken foot that caused him to miss almost the entire second half of the season - added 10. Harry Loeb added nine points, Jordan Shick seven, Austin Dorney six, Austin Wanke four and Cody Steffey two.

Nathaniel Lackey, a 6-7 sophomore, proved to be the Mules' bell-cow. Lackey hit 10 of 14 shots, all from close range, and led all players with 20 points and 14 rebounds.

Lackey took over in the second half, accounting for 14 of his points and 11 rebounds. He made eight of the final nine shots he attempted.

"When (Austin) Dorney got in foul trouble, we had to put some smaller guys on him in the post," Bishop said. "He hurt us quite a bit."

Fry and Gifford added balance to the Mules attack with 12 points each.

The Indians started quickly, hitting seven of 16 shots in the opening period to take a 19-15 lead. Fairfield held LHS to only four points on 1-of-9 shooting in the second period and forged a 23-23 tie at halftime.

The teams continued to battle in the third period, after which Fairfield emerged with a 37-35 lead.

The game featured 18 lead changes and two ties. Lawrenceville's biggest advantage was seven points, on two occasions in the first quarter. The biggest lead for the Mules was the five-point advantage they enjoyed in overtime.

In Monday's opening game, Carmi sidelined the host Foxes, 45-38.

The tournament will continue with semifinal games at 7:30 p.m. today and Wednesday. Carmi will face top-seeded Flora this evening, while Fairfield battles second-seeded Mount Carmel

Fairfield 64,

Lawrenceville 62 (OT)


Blagrave (c) 4-13 4-6 13, Cochran (g) 4-8 0-0 11, Potts (f) 4-5 0-0 10, Loeb (g) 4-11 1-4 9, Shick 2-5 2-5 7, Dorney (f) 2-5 2-4 6, Wanke 1-4 2-3 4, Steffey 0-0 2-2 2, Volkman 0-0 0-0 0, Benson 0-1 0-0 0, Ladson 0-0 0-0 0, Thompson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-55 13-24 62.


Lackey (c) 10-14 0-3 20, Fry (f) 2-7 7-9 12, Gifford 4-9 2-4 12, Griffith (g) 4-8 0-0 8, Simpson (g) 3-5 0-0 6, Rodgers (f) 1-3 2-2 4, Wells 0-1 2-4 2, Kollak 0-0 0-2 0. Totals 24-48 13-24 64.

3-point field goals: Lawrenceville 7-17 (Loeb 0-2, Blagrave 1-6, Cochran 3-5, Potts 2-3, Shick 1-1), Fairfield 3-8 (Griffith 0-1, Fry 1-2, Gifford 2-4, Wells 0-1). Rebounds: Lawrenceville 27 (Loeb 8), Fairfield 39 (Lackey 14). Turnovers: Lawrenceville 13, Fairfield 21. Fouls: Lawrenceville 20, Fairfield 19. Fouled out: Dorney (3:29, 4th qtr), Cochran (:13, OT), Loeb (:06, OT), Griffith (2:44, OT).

Lawrenceville 19 4 14 17 8 - 62

Fairfield 15 8 12 19 10 - 64

Officials: Smith, Riggs, Purcell.


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